Tesla faces class-action lawsuit in California for allegedly exaggerating range estimates

Credit: Tesla

Tesla is facing a new proposed class-action lawsuit filed by three owners in California, alleging the automaker engaged in false advertising by providing exaggerated driving range estimates.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, comes one week after a report emerged alleging Tesla set up a special team to cancel range-related appointments following an influx of complaints from Tesla owners regarding the actual driving ranges falling short of the advertised figures.

The report also claimed that Tesla had instructed its engineers to develop algorithms to display overly optimistic projections for the distance the vehicle could travel on a full charge. Those instructions allegedly came from Elon Musk about a decade ago, but there was no evidence provided to indicate whether the algorithms are still in use today, or in fact ever were in use.

The lawsuit, first reported by Reuters, accuses Tesla of breaching vehicle warranties, committing fraud, and engaging in unfair competition. The plaintiffs argue that Tesla has a duty to deliver products that perform as advertised, and they claim that their experiences with their Tesla vehicles did not live up to the promised driving ranges. One plaintiff, James Porter, who owns a Model Y in Petaluma, California, stated in the lawsuit that on one trip, he lost approximately 182 miles of range despite only driving 92 miles.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status and aims to represent all individuals in California who purchased a new Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. The damages sought are unspecified but considering Tesla’s popularity in California, the number could be significant.

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